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Everything posted by skybound13

  1. skybound13

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Do you think they’ll release a 9.1 beta first or just release it as a maintenance upgrade? Beta testing would not only be helpful to improve the quality of the final release but it would also be the first step of marketing a 9.1 release. Perhaps they could get their “What’s new in 9.1” YouTube video together during beta testing, that could be linked to the Facebook page when they announce the release. Maybe some images on Instagram showing what amazing things 9.1 can do. But don’t listen to me for suggestions on using social media for anything, that’s definitely not my thing, I don’t have any social media accounts. If they do a YouTube video my only suggestion would be to keep it short, 10:00 minutes at the longest - the “What’s New In form•Z v9” is a whopping 28:33 minutes long - that’s like 23:33 minutes too long for me! :-) Or if they absolutely must do a long video I’d suggest including chapter markers on the playback timeline so people can skip to what interests them.
  2. skybound13


    I noticed this also. It’s great to be able to share works in progress and get comments from others but they’re not tutorials, perhaps a new “Works in Progress” forum category should be created? Being new to the formZ forum, I don’t know if there are administrators who are responsible for reviewing new posts and moving them to the appropriate category if needed.
  3. skybound13

    1995 University exam

    AndyD, Your model and drawings are nice, I’d guess that your instructors were impressed. One thing I particularly like about your model is how you rendered it with the white color instead of trying to apply real materials, so basically it looks like a study model. I once saw a computer-generated model of a bass wood study model, that looked pretty cool. It did kind of give me a chuckle, the thought of modeling a model. But I would actually like to try that and put it on a model chipboard base with topo - maybe I’ll model a giant X-Acto knife and put it in the scene to add to the effect! :-) MiniCAD was the first CAD application I used when doing my own work, I liked it.
  4. skybound13

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Des, I, too, have noticed the lack of skill and/or desire to produce nice drawings. By “nice” I mean well drawn (such as effective use of lineweights, appropriate level of detail for the scale of the drawing) and well organized (placement of dimensions and notes,) both of which contribute to how easy the drawings are to read and use for construction. You are correct that the reflected ceiling plan should not be mirrored, plus there would not be any door or window openings unless they continue to the ceiling plane. Regarding manually drafting on translucent media, back in studio I did a few drawings on trace where I cut out a piece of trace to put behind the area of the drawing (such as the bounds of the floor plan) which made the drawing stand out from the surrounding field of the single layer of trace. I was wrapping boards with the trace so you’d see some of the color of the board through the trace. It’s kind of funny, my last year of architecture school I stopped using vellum and just used white trace, I think they were some of the best drawings I’ve done.
  5. I was about to say the same thing then I scrolled down and saw Des’ comment. But I’ll go ahead and say it anyway - very nice presentation! The sheet layout is clean, size and position of dimensions and notes looks good, rendering with a tone instead of monochrome makes the crane elements stand out nicely. As for “technical art,” I’ve seen this sort of thing a couple times. First was my optometrist who hung a framed copy of the architect’s plan for his space on the wall. The coolest example I’ve seen was a blueprint of an old service elevator that is in a building a client renovated. They found the drawing in the elevator pit during renovations, they framed it and put it in the elevator. It’s a small bit of the building’s history put on display, but sadly it’s probably slowly fading as it is exposed to light in the elevator, the darkness of the elevator pit helped keep it as nice as it was. But anyway, setz, whole point is that this layout is a very nice bit of work, good job.
  6. skybound13

    FormZ and Affinity Designer

    The Affinity forum has 12 pages of posts going all the way back to 2015 AD with people saying they’d like a DWG/DWF import feature. I’ve never used the application to know the entire feature set, but searching their forum it looks like it doesn’t have a dimensioning tool, no use laying out orthographic projections without being able to dimension the drawings.
  7. skybound13

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    As an update on my email to Jones, Partners: Architecture, Steve, the contact on their formZ gallery page, responded to my email today. He did not specifically respond to my asking if they might consider posting new content to the gallery, he noted they are working on publishing a new monograph so I assume that’s the priority. I asked him about the highly detailed elevations on their site which include nice shading, I suggested that they were projections from a modeling application. He said they are actually 2D drawings done with PowerCADD then noted that it is helpful to have the detailed formZ models as a guide. So, assuming that all the perspectives on the Jones, Partners: Architecture site were done with formZ, perhaps it would be helpful to help promote formZ by posting a list of firms that use the software, I know at one time Ilexsoft did that for HighDesign. This could be tied in to my suggestion for a featured artist section on the gallery.
  8. skybound13

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Even though this is an older post I’d like to share a few thoughts from the perspective of a SketchUp user. First off, it may be helpful to frame the original question in the positive: “What are the reasons formZ should be more popular?” On January 26 ZTEK said, “I would like to say that working on my designs in formZ is still the best experience by far, like fresh air, and I love it!” I’ve contacted support via email several times and they have been very helpful. I have found their quick start tutorials very helpful. There are many long-time formZ users on this forum that I’m sure can add very specific reasons they have stayed with formZ for so long. I guess I think of the positives as things to attract new users which is better than trying to convince someone to switch to formZ, if that makes sense. When they are attracted to something they want to do it and that mindset makes the entire process better. I wonder if something preventing formZ from being more popular is the perceived/imagined difficulty in learning the application. My experience so far in that formZ free is no more difficult than SketchUp for basic modeling. But I think a lot of SketchUp users have been convinced that SketchUp is the only solution because they believe/assume that everything else is hard compared to SketchUp because they’ve heard over and over that SketchUp is so easy - kind of a form of marketing brainwashing! I would not be surprised if SketchUp’s popularity begins to decline for two reasons. First, due to their switch to a subscription pricing model last fall - some people (myself included) don’t like that. Secondly, I saw a video by Chipp Walters giving the reasons he thinks someone might want to switch from Blender to SketchUp, his Number 1 reason includes his belief that SketchUp wants their flagship product to be cloud-based: https://youtu.be/8MZkjXanO14?t=702. He goes so far as to say, “SketchUp’s resources have only focused on creating cloud-based software and the product and the company is falling farther and farther behind.” Very interesting! But back to the original question… The models and renderings on the formZ site speak for themselves, there is no question the application is highly capable. One thing that draws a lot of people to SketchUp is the rendering style with the hand-drawn appearance, if formZ could develop a strong hand-drawn effect that could be something that would catch the attention of some users. This hand-drawn effect has to be more than just squiggly lines. Long before SketchUp came along people were doing perspectives by hand with techniques such as extended lines and bearing down at the end of the line to make that darker - these would be qualities to incorporate in a future version of the “Doodle” rendering style. But the effect definitely needs a new name, no architect has ever done a “presentation doodle”! :-) Some people (myself included) may be a little nervous when they read about bugs on the forum - emphasis has to be made on how well support is resolving those. Whatever AutoDesSys offers must be rock solid, it would be better to pause developing new features to refine existing features, get rid of the bugs. Of course I know no software is perfect, but to at least resolve known issues before starting anything new. Maybe to summarize I’d say this: formZ stands its ground against the competition, people who might truly benefit by switching to formZ just need to take a little time and check it out - how to get them to do that I do not know. As a final comment, the original post was made in January of last year - in the last year what progress has been made in improving formZ’s popularity? I then ask myself what could be done in the next 12 months, similar to CJTFORM-Z’s March 4, 2020 AD comment, “How to make formZ more popular.” My suggestion (as trivial as it may seem) is to refine the Gallery so there’s a section where there are albums organized by topic (such as “architecture,” “character animation,” “product design,” or whatever) - no one wants to click through the alphabetical list of users, and the keyword search is buried too deep in the search field. While focusing my attention on the Gallery, what about some kind of featured artist? I found some very cool images from Jones, Partners: Architecture (https://forums.formz.com/gallery/album/103-jones-partners-architecture/), I just emailed them to ask if they have any more cool images they can share on the forum, it’s been six years since they’ve posted anything. If you haven’t had your daily dose of eye candy you need to check out their site (jonespartners.com), they’ve got some great stuff and the presentation drawings are amazing. As it turns out the founding principal, Wes Jones, is something of an important architectural figure: “Jones is a leading architectural voice of his generation” per the Wes Jones Wikipedia article. I need to get out more, this is the first I’ve ever heard of him. Hmm, when I started writing this I thought it would be a short post! :-)
  9. skybound13

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    I worked on a project where the architect did a very detailed model of his new house in SketchUp then exported orthogonal views as DWGs, it worked fairly well. Fortunately we didn’t have any changes to the drawings once he finished the model but I can imagine what it might be like to reload the DWG exports if there were changes. On my own projects I’ve only inserted raster files of perspectives to give an overview of the project, I add a note saying that they are conceptual and may not represent the information found in the drawings. I’ve never used any scripts or third-party plug-ins for any CAD or modeling application, I can’t think of anything I’ve tried to do that couldn’t be handled with the application’s standard functionality.
  10. skybound13

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    ZTEK, You’re welcome. It’s better to have some fun and enjoy the process as much as possible, it will be interesting to see what unexpected things you learn along the way. I worked for a firm that tried ArchiCAD for one project, principal architect and myself took a full-day new user training class offered by the reseller. Even with that and phone support we struggled, principal ended up hiring a former employee who was doing his own thing and using ArchiCAD, that guy ended up basically doing all the drawings. Principal came to the conclusion that ArchiCAD wasn’t for us and we continued using AutoCAD. I am still friends with that ArchiCAD user and have reviewed his drawings for three projects, two were new construction, the third was an interior renovation. All his drawings have been weak in my opinion (poor text, leader, and dimension management as well as weak lineweights on all drawings.) He has commented about how drafting details is difficult for him, not a good thing considering he’s used ArchiCAD for well over a decade. For some reason over the last year or two I’ve had a great interest in doing manual drafting. I bought a used drafting table that had a track-style drafting machine, bought a couple elbow-style drafting machines to play around with, a new parallel bar, and even a T-square! When I told my ArchiCAD friend that I bought the drafting table he asked, “What for?” I told him, “Ah, for drafting!” :-) I do not intend to stop doing final drawings in CAD (I use HighDesign,) but my intuition is telling me the manual drafting is something I should investigate. I know from past experience that when I get such a feeling and don’t follow it that I end up looking back and wishing I had. Regarding speed, I’d rather sacrifice speed than quality. I never tried to use Vectorworks with any other software, can’t offer any thoughts or advice on that. I assume when applications such as formZ and SketchUp create layout applications that they want their software to move in the direction of BIM, I guess. I’m still investigating formZ, but the way it keeps track of objects seems like that could be used to BIM-ify the model so it contains useful information to the CAD application.
  11. skybound13

    FormZ Free and QuickStart Tutorial 2…

    Bernd, Can you share your thoughts on how effective the quick start tutorials were in helping your daughter begin to learn formZ? Maybe you can offer suggestions for a future update to the tutorials? Last fall I worked through the first two using formZ free 8, yesterday I finished the first tutorial using formZ free 9. I think the split-screen format with instructions on the left and area on the right to follow along is a great way to structure the tutorial, I thought they were very helpful. You might suggest to your daughter that she work through the 30-Minute Model video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n0FGm3kw2I), Matthew Holewinski did this presentation, he does a really good job. I worked through this model in formZ 8 last fall, it went a little slower because I was pausing to confirm the dimensions being used but in the end I was able to build the same model.
  12. skybound13

    off topic

    Perhaps it’s a public service announcement warning people of what to avoid! All joking aside, at least this person is creating something that offers experience that builds skills they can apply to a “real” project. By comparison, I think of a friend’s 18-year old niece who spends about 30 hours a week playing The Sims - not much productive value in that, in my opinion. If only she spent half that time skilling herself…shoot, even an hour a day would be better than nothing.
  13. skybound13

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Marcelo, Looks like you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into finding what will work best for you, hope you find something that is close to what you want. If it makes you feel any better, even very large, successful firms (which you think would have the budget for adequate software training) are turning out drawings done in Revit with numerous modeling errors which become visible in the sectional views. The errors I’ve seen would be totally unacceptable if the drawings were standard two-dimensional drawings done in any CAD application. Plus the quality of the drawings is generally very disappointing in my opinion, such as weak lineweight hierarchy and excessive detail for the scale of the drawing (such as showing wallboard on a 1:48 floor plan.) Funny thing about those kinds of errors is how it seems to be an example of the tool mastering the user instead of the user mastering the tool. That the user accepts the errors because it’s the best the tool can do might be an indication that the user needs to find a new tool! But that comment is coming from someone who is not a fan of BIM, I prefer two-dimensional drafting and I’ll use a stand-alone modeler as needed. I understand the efficiencies offered by BIM, just not a fan, not how I prefer to work. The models and drawings in your two attached files appear to be nicely executed, I’d say your preliminary tests have been successful. I used VectorWorks 8 years ago for two-dimensional drawing, I liked it a lot.
  14. Hello, I’m interested in giving formZ a shot for architectural modeling as a replacement for SketchUp, I found a couple of used iMacs and wanted to see if someone could give their thoughts as to whether these might be decent for formZ. I would expect fairly simple models at this time, basically for design investigations and conceptual models for review by clients, I’m not interested in adding lots of textures to my models right now. Here are the two iMacs I’m looking at: iMac 20" (early 2009,) 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 320G Hard Drive and 4GB RAM iMac 20" (early 2008,) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 250G Hard Drive and 4GB RAM Both of these meet the minimum operating system, OpenGL, and RAM requirements. The early 2009 AD model has a faster processor and larger hard drive and costs only $100 more so I’ll probably go with that one. I’d like to ask the community if anyone sees any issues using the 2009 AD iMac for formZ. By the way, I’m using a late 2013 AD MacBook Pro with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 8 GB RAM, it only has OS 10.10.1 (Yosemite,) I don’t want to upgrade the operating system for fear that I won’t be able to run the older version of Pages which I use extensively (Apple unfortunately removed the hypertext link function from Pages in the newer versions, I use that all the time so I don’t want to upgrade.) I played around with the free version of formZ free 8.6.5 and it worked fine on this computer. Thanks for any thoughts on this matter.
  15. skybound13

    Thoughts on 2008/2009 AD iMac for formZ 9

    Des, Thank you, seeing that About Pages ’08 window on a machine running El Capitan brings a tear of joy to my eye! :-) I really like the older version of Pages, I tried using Pages 5.2 which was part of the Yosemite upgrade, the deal-breaker for me was how they removed the hyperlink function from the application, I use that extensively to jump around parts of my project log documents and to open other Pages files that I reference when working in those files. As for the PDFs, the 150+ MB files are scans of permit drawing sets from different copy shops, no idea what they are using to make those. As for the 3.5 MB PDF I mentioned (actually only 3.1 MB now that I double check,) it’s 7 pages, 24x36, drawn with HighDesign, PDFs exported using Save as PDF… in the system Print window. Then I put all the sheets in a single PDF using Preview 8.0 (which was installed with Yosemite.) I open the multi-page PDF then try to use the touch pad to zoom in, it pauses, the colored spinning wheel appears, then a few seconds later it jumps in to the area. The PDFs created this way retain the text such that I can still select the text, I’ve experimented saving sheets as JPGs then saving back to PDFs to “flatten” them but Preview still struggles which is no surprise because the file sizes go way up when I do that. I noticed issues with PDFs in Mavericks (operating system that came on the computer,) in fact, pretty much everything was slower than my older MacBook running Snow Leopard, I think that was from maybe 2006 AD. Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with the newer MacBook Pro having a Retina display, I’d like to think that a fresh install of a final version of a newer operating system (such as El Capitan) would take care of the problems. With that iMac I would have a backup computer while I do the upgrade on the MacBook Pro, that makes me feel a lot better about doing the upgrade. As for better pricing online, you’re right. Here’s my problem - I am notoriously bad when it comes to shopping for the best deals - sometimes I put so much time into the search that after I do find the best deal I realize it took so much time that I would have been better off paying a little more and saving a bunch of time. You know that saying, “Step over a dollar to pick up a dime”? That’s pretty much me in this case. :-) Thanks again for taking some time to launch those apps and send the screen snapshot.
  16. skybound13

    Thoughts on 2008/2009 AD iMac for formZ 9

    Des, Thank you for your comments, especially regarding iWork ’08 working on El Capitan, I would definitely like to find an alternative to Yosemite (10.10.1.) snow, Yeah, I struggled with similar thoughts, thinking maybe it’s better just to put the money towards something new. Now that I know that El Capitan will run the older version of Pages I can ask myself if maybe I shouldn’t just upgrade the OS on my MacBook Pro and put the money towards a large monitor. The iMacs are $200 and $300, even though that’s more than I want to pay, either one would have value for viewing 24x36 PDFs of permit drawing sets. These PDFs are generally 150 MB and larger, Preview on my MacBook Pro really struggles with those for some reason. Shoot, it struggles with a 5 MB PDF, I assume something buggy with the upgrade to Yosemite. As for the different processors, unfortunately I don’t know the nuances each type of processor offers to know what’s good/better/best, only modeling software I’ve used is SketchUp which worked just fine on the two Macs I’ve used it on.